In a quest to link the tourism industry with positive impact to empowerment projects around the globe, female-led boutique agency GOOD Travel began offering a special trip to Peru one year ago.
We interviewed entrepreneurship and social change professor as well as GOOD Travel co-founder Eliza Raymond on this novel experience focused on women and girls empowerment in this Latin American country.
Lumina: After years of organizing sustainable trips around the world, you have created a Mother and Daughter experience in Peru. In your website you say you found a gap in the market that was not being filled. What made you decide this was the definite route to explore?
Eliza: Family trips and women-only group trips are on the rise, but very few (if any), are tailored to young girls and their moms. More generally, GOOD Travel is also addressing a gap in the market for travel experiences that are designed to have a positive impact on the places they visit. There are many experiences out there that have an element of giving back or doing good, but with our trips every single aspect of the trip is carefully researched and designed to ensure that we are having a positive social, economic and environmental impact on the places we visit. We figured our model would be attractive to kids who are clamoring for adults to take climate change and social impact more seriously… and for moms wanting to show their daughters that together they can make a lasting difference through their travel decisions.
L: How the partnership with Peruvian Hearts came about?
E: After graduating from a Masters in Tourism in New Zealand, I worked in Peru for several years. I came across the organization over ten years ago and I was so inspired by their founder’s story and their vision that I make it my personal mission to continue to find different avenues for supporting their work. Most recently I had the honor of becoming a mentor for one of the Peruvian Hearts scholars and that experience made me realize that a partnership through GOOD Travel could create a path for amplifying the voices of the Peruvian Hearts scholars through tourism. Especially with the mom and daughter trips, we realized we had the potential to build a global community of female travelers who would commit to continuing to empower female marginalized voices like the Peruvian Hearts girls long after returning home.
L: How mothers and daughters trips change or improve the relationship dynamics?
E: Our goal with these trips is simple. No work. No cell phone. No distractions. Just a carefully curated experience that includes: a cultural immersion program to give moms and daughters a glimpse into a world outside of their own, adventure to keep both mom and daughter engaged, outdoor time to keep them both active, and relaxing time to allow them both to recharge together.
The trip has been designed to empower moms to teach their daughters to learn to be a responsible traveler, kind and compassionate friends, researchers of new cultures, explorers of new experiences and appreciative of all they have. The trip provides participants with an understanding of new cultures, a glimpse into how others live, and perspective one can’t gain from their own backyards. And when moms spend their days pulled in so many different directions, it gives them a chance to prove to the formidable enemy – time – that connecting with your daughter in a meaningful and memorable way is entirely possible. All while checking off a bucket list item like hiking one of the new Seven Wonders of the World!
“Going to Peru changed the way I see things. It made me realize how much we take for granted and how I need to appreciate the little things in life. Getting to meet with the girls from Peruvian Hearts was a once in a lifetime experience.” – Young girl (14) from 2018 inaugural trip
L: What is the age range of the daughters that join this trip?
E: While these trips have been designed for girls aged 6 to 18, we welcome and can accommodate mom and daughter duos of all ages! Our local tour partners recognize and appreciate that different age groups have different interests and requirements and so we build the itinerary with each traveler in mind. But what we found so interesting during our inaugural trip of women and girls (including aunties and cousins) ages 5 to 50 was that the multi-generational bonding amongst our group of travelers was so strong, they wanted to do everything together! It was a group of the youngest girls who pulled our oldest woman traveler up the mountain – an accomplishment she didn’t think in her 50 years she would ever have done. And all because of the help of the young girls.
L: Why Peru is the perfect destination for this type of specialized experience?
E: Chocolate making, trekking with Llamas, shopping in fair trade markets, farm to table restaurants, learning ancient weaving traditions, cooking workshops, home visits and meals with local girl scholars… hiking Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World becomes mere icing on the cake.
L: What makes GOOD Travel Mothers and Daughters Peru Trip 2020 different than other tours?
E: The trip has been designed in partnership with Peruvian Hearts – an organization that works to end poverty and gender inequality by educating young women and creating community leaders. For these girls, it is more than just a club, it is a lifeline: To be selected as a scholar is highly competitive. Not only must a girl be incredibly driven with high grades and come from a low-income family but she must have big dreams as well. The scholars are working towards high school and college degrees in engineering, science, teaching and even Michelin Stars. Your daughter will not leave with just a penpal, she will leave with role models.
GOOD Travel is a social enterprise focused on giving back to the environment, local economy and community and puts people above profits. Aside from donating a portion of the trip fees to the non-profit Peruvian Hearts, trip fees go to local hotels, guides, restaurants, and partners who also give back. Being an active part of a paying it forward has never been so rewarding.
“I have never taken a more relaxing trip with my daughter but the highlight was meeting so many other amazing moms and sharing our ideas and visions for our girls’ futures. That was truly inspiring.” – Mom from 2018 inaugural trip.
L: How can people book a trip with you or send you questions?
You can learn more about GOOD Travel click here: http://good-travel.org/
Photos Credits: GOOD Travel